Coca-Cola HBC released its half-year results earlier today

Coca-Cola HBC released its half-year results earlier today

Earlier today (13 August) Coca-Cola HBC released its half-year results. Here, just-drinks takes a closer look at the company's performance by region.

Established markets

Overall volumes in the six months to 3 July for CCHBC's established markets were flat at -0.2% in the first half, following a 4.2% decline in the prior-year period.

Volumes grew in Ireland and Greece, supported by good performance in bottled water, although this was outweighed by declines in Switzerland and Austria. Meanwhile, volumes stabilised in Italy in the half year, supported by four additional selling days. "The underlying trading environment remains challenging with unemployment still at very high levels of c. 13% and disposable income remaining under pressure", the company said.

Volumes in Greece increased marginally in the first half, cycling a similar rate of increase in the prior-year period. Performance in the still drinks category was the key growth driver, with both water and juice growing by 5%. The Coke Zero brand posted volume growth of 9% in the country. "Looking ahead, we remain cautious as the macroeconomic environment is uncertain", the company added.

Volumes in Switzerland declined by low single digits in the first half and increased by low single digits in Ireland.

Reported operating profits from the region improved by 24.3% to EUR73.2m.

Developing markets

Overall unit case volumes rose by 6.2% in the first half. The sparkling beverages category was the main growth driver, supported by bottled water in Poland and Hungary.

In Poland, volumes increased by high single-digits in the period, following a high single-digit decline in the prior-year period, when the company removed certain SKUs. Volumes in Hungary also increased by high single-digits, with positive performance across all categories, including double-digit growth for Coca-Cola Zero.

In Czech, volumes rose by high single-digits in the first half. The company said this performance "follows a year shaped by our strategic decision to focus on value-accretive volume, and provides evidence of a return to healthy growth".

Reported operating profits improved by EUR21.1m to EUR43.9m.

Emerging markets

Overall volumes were up by 5.4% over the half year, following a 1.7% decline in the prior-year period.

Volumes in Russia declined by low single-digits, following a low single-digit growth in the prior-year period. Trademark Coca-Cola declined 0.7%, while juice performed well, supported by the inclusion of Moya Semya in the company’s portfolio in the country. But, it was not enough to offset significant declines in the flavoured brands of CCHBC’s sparkling portfolio.

Volumes in Nigeria grew in the mid-teens, helped in part by easier comparatives in the prior-year period due to temporary supply and promotion disruptions. "Nigeria remains a key growth driver for the group," the company said.

Romania increased volumes by high single-digits, following a high single-digit decrease in the prior-year period. The bottled water portfolio returned to growth following a prolonged period of "SKU rationalisation and competitive pressure".

Ukraine delivered volume growth in the mid-teens, compared to a 10% decline in the prior-year period. But, the company said: "The overall environment remains fragile, severely impacting consumer demand, and in some cases, product distribution."

On a reported basis, operating profits from emerging markets remained broadly stable at EUR82m.